Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Whose will YOU be?

Jesus said to them, When they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but they are like the angels in heaven. " (Mk 12:26)

I was sitting in O'Shaughnessey Auditorium at the University of St Thomas. It was Valentine's Day, 2004 (gotta love that irony!). I was listening to Christopher West speak on the Theology of the Body.

He began to talk about how we are all created for God. In the context of his talk, I learned how consecrated celibacy fits into a larger theological context. I am sure that I had heard some of this before, but for some reason the pieces "fell into place" that day.

Don't be afraid of celibacy.

It's where we will all end up, when we stand before the throne of the eternal Father.

The brave women and men who consecrate themselves to God now are providing a proleptic look at the final intention of God for us all, that we love Him more than any other created being.

Ironically enough, this insight not only elevates the consecrated life and puts it in a meaningful context. It also offers a helpful context for marriage.

Marriage, like consecrated celibate life, is designed as a way-station, a help, a training ground for the final Love Affair of our existence, with the God who IS Love. What G.K. Chesterton said about promiscuity could just as well be applied to the married state: “Every man who knocks on the door of a brothel is looking for God."

It has become abundantly clear to me now that our search for human affection and connection is important, not to be dismissed. Our seemingly adolescent pre-occupation as a society with romantic love really does have a "theological" significance.

And nothing but true life in God here and hereafter provides the answer to our deep need to belong fully to Someone.

Whose will YOU be?

Asked and answered in a stellar manner by Saint Anselm (1033-1109), Monk, Bishop, Doctor of the Church.

From his Proslogion 25-26

"Why do you stray so far in search of good things for your soul and your body?
Love the one and only Good in whom are all good things. That is enough… There on high, all that anyone can love and desire is to be found.

Do you love beauty?
“The saints will shine like the sun.” (Mt 13:43)

Do you love the agility or the strength of a free body from which all obstacles have been removed?
“They shall be like the angels of God”

Or a long and healthy life?
There on high, eternal good health awaits you, for “the just live forever.” (Wis 5:15)…

Do you want to be satiated?
You shall be when God shows you his face in his glory (Ps 17:15).

To be made drunk?
“They have their fill of the prime gifts of your house.” (Ps 36:9)

Or do you love a melodious song? T
here on high, the choirs of angels sing God’s praise without end.

Are you seeking very pure delights?
God will give you to drink from his delightful streams (Ps 36:9).

Do you love wisdom?
God’s wisdom will become manifest in person.

They shall love God more than themselves, they shall love one another as much as themselves, and God will love them more than they can ever love…

Do you love harmony?
They will all have one single will, for they will have no will other than God’s…

Honors and wealth?
God will set his good and faithful servants over many goods (Mt 25:21); even more, “they shall be called sons of God,” (Mt 5:9) and they shall really be that, for where the Son of God is, there also shall be the “heirs of God, heirs with Christ.” (Rom 8:17)

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